Blog Day 66 Mon 11th July 2011
Cat Ba Island Day!
Breakfast is simple but is in all of Thailand & Vietnam, the boat reaches the harbor, then we board the coach to Cat Ba Island. Before we get to destination for the evening the coach makes a stop and we all have a decision to make, hike for an hour up a steep hillside to a viewpoint or go on a bike ride. It's a million degrees outside so we are between a rock and a hard place. Bike riding it is. And as luck may have it the bikes are useless, most of them have no brakes and Dan gets the pick of the bunch, as his has a seat that won't stay up and only one pedal. We meet Michelle & Jason who believe it or not live in Gillingham they are a great couple and are full of information on Malaysia, Singapore, and Australia. We also meet Ben & Lizzy who are travelling together. After an hour of bumpy bike riding we cannot feel our bums, we jump back on the bus which takes us to the harbor. From there we head to Monkey Island where we are to be staying in beach huts for tonight. A short boat ride later and we are on a beautiful private beach where we have a huge lunch then an afternoon just floating in the sea, chatting away & chilling out. Everyone is waiting in anticipation for the floating bar to surface. There is a nasty rumor going around that it will be serving free cocktails. Turns out the floating bar is 2 guys on a canoe with an ice bucket full of booze. However the booze is free and we are floating (some more gracefully than others, Trish)
That night after a lovely buffet dinner and a few beers, Dan was 'forced against his will' to amaze and astound our little group with some magic. It was the biggest audience he had had since Cape Town and with that in mind he was a little nervous. However after the first couple of tricks and some great reactions, he was on a high and didn't know when to stop! Tonight we are staying in bungalow huts which are really nice compared to some of the other places we have stayed anyway. The scenery in the last two days has just been amazing, when we watched Top Gear do the tour of Vietnam on TV we thought wow we have to go there, and we are so glad we did!
Blog Day 67 Tues 12th July 2011
Today we awake to breakfast then have to leave Monkey Island to make the long journey back to Hanoi We have a short boat ride to Cat Ba Island first, then a mini bus ride to the other side of the island where our junk is waiting. On the junk back to Halong City harbor we have lunch and exchange details with Jason and Michelle. The promise of a curry back home is on the cards. Once at the harbor we are ushered back onto our coach and are bound for Hanoi. Back at good old Huong Duong Hotel we have a snooze then go back to Fat Guy Pizza for dinner as it was very good first time round.
Our new room in the hotel is on the 5th floor. The down side to this is that we have to lug our bags up 5 flights of stairs. The up side however is that the traffic noise and constant beeping of horns takes longer to reach our room.